Does your child worry? Chances are good, if they are preschoolers on up, there are times their little minds won’t turn off the busy actions of the day. Or times their thoughts are racing. Sensitive children, gifted children, children with special needs, perfectionists, or simply children who spend a lot of time thinking. All children at one time or another handle worry, or anxiety. That’s just part of life. These days, worry and anxiety seems to be more prevalent among children than ever before. Healthy adults handle worries and anxieties every day. But most healthy adults have a toolkit of skills to deal with their worries as they appear, before the worry gets too big. Children simply don’t have those skills yet. Sometimes they dwell on their worries until they become paralyzing. Both of my children, have at times had their worries seem so big that it has been hard to tame those worry dragons.
So when I heard about this great idea – My Worry Box – I was thrilled. Both of my kids have at times had tummy aches and headaches and stories of bullies and all the usual upsets that make anxiety seem insurmountable. My Worry Box arrived a couple of weeks ago and I knew this would work for my girls. Both are good communicators and both are able to write their feelings down. My Worry Box is a tiny little private box just for them, which looks a bit like a super miniature mailbox and comes with pencil and pad of paper. The child takes the box and when they have a worrisome thought, they write it down and place it secretly inside the box. Now I personally like the idea of giving them a space all their own to contain the worry. Later, when they feel comfortable enough, they get the worry out and review it or read it, hopefully able to talk it through with a parent or adult they trust. This has worked nicely for my oldest child, at least when she doesn’t lose My Worry Box in her room. If the worry goes away then she gets to throw the paper away. That seemed to please her recently when she had something urgent upsetting her about math. It gave her the power to control worry. My oldest girl is ten, a perfectionist and a dramatic sensitive girl.